Gobs on Sticks

Thoughts mostly (but not always) about the voice-over business, from London Voiceover Artist, Mike Cooper

  • About the author

    My name is Mike Cooper. I'm a full time Voiceover Artist living and working in London, and this is my blog. Find out more about me on my main website (there's a link further down this column), or if you'd like to hear some of my work, check out the files below.

Archive for the ‘Broadcasting’ Category

Film24 Promos Online

Posted by MikeCooper on October 1, 2009

The nice boys at Film24 have been kind enough to send me some of the promos I’ve been voicing recently. Here’s one now…

You can find more from Film24 on Sky channel 157 and on their website at Film24.com

And you can see more of my promos on my facebook page – just click on the “Video” tab at the top of the page. You can also sign up as a “fan” if you like!

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Posted in Broadcasting, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

A Killer on Campus – a clip online

Posted by MikeCooper on July 17, 2009

My “Killer on Campus” programme aired for the first time last night on The Crime & Investigation Network. It’s a UK re-version of a Bill Kurtis Special Report from the US, which goes beyond the headlines and the news clips, providing context to the Virginia Tech bombing, asking the questions on everyone’s minds: Why did it happen? What brought someone to commit such senseless murders? How will society put an end to the epidemic of school shootings?

Here’s a clip from my YouTube channel:

The beady-eyed amongst us will notice that the channel logo in the top right hand corner shows it’s lifted from the “+1” service. Last night’s thunderstorms here in London knocked out my satellite reception while it was showing the first time. Thank heaven’s for repeats!

To find out when this programme is showing next, visit my website and click on “TV Schedule”.

Posted in Broadcasting, Television | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mike’s Mid-June Voiceover Update

Posted by MikeCooper on June 17, 2009

The year is whizzing by faster than I seem to be able to keep track. This weekend it’s the longest day of the year already, which means it’ll soon be Christmas, no doubt. I’ve been keeping busy the last few weeks with some interesting new projects.

A couple of weeks ago I voiced a documentary for an independent film-maker based in Sydney, who’s producing a programme on the preparations for next year’s football World Cup in South Africa. The programme is still in the editing stages, but when it’s finished the idea is that it will be shown at various festivals and sold to interested broadcasters. I’ll post an update on this in due course.

An interesting meeting at Pinewood studios at the start of the month revealed some great new programmes coming to Film24, for whom I work as a continuity announcer. These include “Sordid Lives: The Series”, which will be airing on Film24 from the start of August. Think “Desperate Housewives”, but set on a trailer park, and with Olivia Newton John and Golden Girl Rue McLanahan, and you start to get the idea. Andrew Burns, CEO of the channel, has some other new programming ideas up his sleeve for the next few months too, all of which should bring exciting improvements to the schedule.

Also this month I’ve voiced a science documentary which will soon start showing in museums in the United States. Called Planet You 3D, it’s been produced by Chedd-Angier-Lewis, in Watertown, MA, and will shortly get its premiere at the Health Museum in Houston and the Museum of Science in Boston, before hopefully rolling out to science centres across the United States. You can read the production blog (including the very nice things they said about me) here.

Aside from these projects it’s been the regular round of corporates, including jobs for Capgemini and British Gas, commercials for radio stations in the UK, and my ongoing work for the BBC World Service and the History Channel. And outside work I’ve been trying to get to see as much of the ICC World Twenty20 cricket as I can – after all, I only live ten minutes from Kennington Oval!

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, Freelancing, news, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Google Calendar 101. A personalised TV Schedule.

Posted by MikeCooper on June 6, 2009

Today I set up a Google Calendar, which details when programmes I’ve voiced are showing on various channels here in the UK. I started doing this mostly for my own benefit, so I could keep track of the growing number of programmes I’ve now added my voiceovers to. But I realised midway through that it might prove to be an interesting website addition. If there’s a way of extracting the data to Twitter for automatic Tweets just ahead of the billed times then that would be even better still, but let’s go one step at a time!

I’ve included channel numbers for Sky and Virgin in the “location” field (crafty, eh?) and also flagged up days where I can be heard as a station continuity voiceover for History and Film24, as well as the BBC World Service. The next step might be to add links to clips from the programmes, but I’m not sure that URLs can be embedded in Google Calendar entries (any thoughts?)

There’s no way to automate the process of adding new showings or altering late changes, unfortunately, so that will have to be a weekly task for yours truly, but at least now the bulk of programmes and their billings are in the system, they can be “duplicated” to new showing times as needed, with top-ups as I voice more material.

After some playing with the options and embedding the resulting code into a fresh page on my website, I now have a rather nicely-presented TV Schedule page, which you’ll find here.

The cost of all this? Absolutely nothing, other than my time. And the beauty part is that, as a Public calendar on Google, it gets indexed by You Know Who, too…

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, news, Radio, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mike’s Late May Update

Posted by MikeCooper on May 27, 2009

It’s been a busy month, all told. I’ve been writing furiously for the History Channel (which now prefers to be known simply as “History”). They’ve asked me to become a regular continuity announcer for the channel for the next little while, so I’ll be popping up between programmes there quite a lot for now, and I’m actually on air all week this week (26-31 May).

WhP, in France, asked me to produce some voiceover material for the Renault Academy last week, which I delivered this week. A complex project which involved a lot of editing to produce files which could be split up by an automated process. I learned a lot about the new Mégane Coupé in the process, should anyone ever call on me to do a repair.

Meanwhile, IC Group in Winnipeg, Canada, approached me to voice the British version of some training materials for Brit Insurance.

And tomorrow I’m looking forward to voicing a documentary programme about the preparations for the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with a producer based in (wait for it…) Sydney, Australia!

Never let it be said that I don’t get around…

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, Freelancing, news, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dinosaur Secrets – “Ice Age Monsters”

Posted by MikeCooper on March 10, 2009

“Dinosaur Secrets”, the series I’ve been voicing for The History Channel here in the UK, is midway through its run, so I thought it was an appropriate time to post another clip. This one’s from last Wednesday’s episode, “Ice Age Monsters”.

The clip is here and you’ll need Quicktime to play it. If you enjoy it then check out the microsite. There’s also a Dinosaur Secrets Facebook Page here.

“Dinosaur Secrets” shows at 9pm on Wednesdays. History is on Sky Channel 529 and Virgin Channel 234, with the HD version on Sky 545.

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

I’m voicing “Megastructures” for National Geographic UK

Posted by MikeCooper on March 1, 2009

I’ve not worked for National Geographic for a while, so it was a nice surprise on Wednesday of last week when they invited me in to voice two episodes of their strand, “Megastructures”.

The series “takes an eye-popping look at the greatest structures and machines ever created”, and has so far covered everything from the Grand Canyon Skywalk to the world’s biggest shredder…

My two programmes are “Air Crane Helicopter”, for broadcast on Thursday 12th March at 9pm, and “Electric Ocean”, which goes out a week later on Thursday 19th March at 9pm (both get several outings).

National Geographic Channel is on Sky Digital channel 526/7, Virgin 230, and Tiscali 112, and the Megastructures web pages are here.

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Dinosaur Secrets clips are now online

Posted by MikeCooper on January 23, 2009

I’ve now posted some short clips from the first programme of the Dinosaur Secrets series, which premiered on History here in the UK this week. See them on them on my website by clicking here.

Posted in Broadcasting, news, Television, Voiceovers | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Mike Cooper narrates Dinosaur Secrets on History

Posted by MikeCooper on January 21, 2009

I’ve just finished narrating a major series for History called “Dinosaur Secrets”, and it begins airing in the UK tonight (21st January 2009) at 9pm. It’s been made in High Definition, which should really show off the amazing CGI!

From the History microsite:

“Travel back in time to the pre-historic era and unearth the world’s first serial killers. We bring to life deadly dinosaur confrontations and gain remarkable insight into the psychology and physiology of these ancient beasts.”

History is on Sky Channel 529 and Virgin Channel 234, with the HD version on Sky 545.

There’s also a Facebook page here and I hope to post a clip some time in the next day or so.

Posted in Broadcasting, Documentaries, Television | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Local Radio in the UK in 2008

Posted by MikeCooper on December 16, 2008

A friend who is a commercial radio presenter has just sent me this amusing clip. It’s from a BBC Radio 4 programme called “Listen Against” (the title being a play on the BBC’s “Listen Again” service for radio, and the whole of which should still be available on the BBC’s iPlayer service here – if you’re quick!)

Some background, if you’re outside the UK or don’t follow the commercial sector particularly… When ILR (Independent Local Radio) started in this country, in 1973, all kinds of rules were in place about local programming, studio quality, and so on. As time has gone on, “Independent Radio” has succumbed to market pressures, changes in regulation and “Commercial Radio” seems somehow more fitting. Stations have bought each other out and there are now only a couple of big groups left, which own everything.

Posted in Broadcasting, Comedy, Radio | 1 Comment »